Summer Reading Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire

It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »


On Order

New Hardcover
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Reference- Editing

This title in other editions

Other titles in the Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing series:

Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing)


Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Editing is a tricky business. It requires analytical flair and creative panache, the patience of a saint and the vision of a writer. Transforming a manuscript into a book that edifies, inspires, and sells? Thats the job of the developmental editor, whose desk is the first stop for many manuscripts on the road to bookdom—a route ably mapped out in the pages of Developmental Editing.

Author Scott Norton has worked with a diverse range of authors, editors, and publishers, and his handbook provides an approach to developmental editing that is logical, collaborative, humorous, and realistic. He starts with the core tasks of shaping the proposal, finding the hook, and building the narrative or argument, and then turns to the hard work of executing the plan and establishing a style.

Developmental Editing includes detailed case studies featuring a variety of nonfiction books—election-year polemic, popular science, memoir, travel guide—and authors ranging from first-timer to veteran, journalist to scholar. Handy sidebars offer advice on how to become a developmental editor, create effective illustration programs, and adapt sophisticated fiction techniques (such as point of view, suspense, plotting, character, and setting) to nonfiction writing.  

Nortons book also provides freelance copyeditors with a way to earn higher fees while introducing more creativity into their work lives. It gives acquisitions, marketing, and production staff a vocabulary for diagnosing a manuscripts flaws and techniques for transforming it into a bestseller. And perhaps most importantly, Developmental Editing equips authors with the concrete tools they need to reach their audiences.

About the Author

Scott Norton is developmental editor and project manager for science at the University of California Press.

Table of Contents



            What Developmental Editing Is

            Whom This Book Is For

            What This Book Covers

            Some Ground Rules


1           Concept: Shaping the Proposal             

             Author Profile: The Veteran

             Client Profile: The Agent

             Assignment: The Proposal with Too Many Concepts

             Locate the Concept

             Profile the Audience

             Evaluate Market Potential

             Bring the Vision into Focus


2           Content: Assessing Potential

             Author Profile: The First-timer

             Client Profile: The Big Trade House

             Assignment: The Tome with Too Many Subjects

             Size Up the Author

             Size Up the Publisher

             Size Up the DE

             Create a Content Summary

             Find the Main Subject

3          Thesis: Finding the Hook

            Author Profile: The Coauthors

            Client Profile: The Small Trade House

            Assignment: The Study with Too Many Theses

            Cull Theses from Topics

            Beware of the Rehash

            Choose the Main Thesis

            Create a Working Title


4          Narrative: Tailoring the Timeline

           Author Profile: The Historian

           Client Profile: The Copublisher

           Assignment: The Sprawling Saga

           Untangle Timelines from Arguments

           Find the Main Timelines

           Brainstorm Timeline Strategies

           Compose the New Timeline

           Finetune the Timeline

           Restore Bits of Argument


5         Exposition: Deploying the Argument

          Author Profile: The Theorist

          Client Profile: The University Press

          Assignment: The Theory with Too Many Tangents

          Untangle Arguments from Timelines

          Find the Main Arguments

          Brainstorm Argument Strategies

          Compose the New Argument

          Finetune the Argument

          Restore Bits of Timeline


6        Plan: Drafting a Blueprint

          Write Up the Plan

          Compose Chapter Theses

          Intervene Strategically

7        Rhythm: Setting the Pace

         Author Profile: The Sole Authority

         Client Profile: The Regional House

         Assignment: The Local History Turned Personal

         Rearrange the Furniture

         Draft New Passages

         Balance Chapter Weights

         Edit for Pace


8       Transitions: Filling in the Blanks

        Author Profile: The Dead Author

        Client Profile: The Self-Publisher

        Assignment: The Memoir with Lapses

        Create Opening Transitions

        Create Closing Transitions

        Draw Conclusions

        Place Those Conclusions


9      Style: Training the Voice

       Author Profile: The Journalist

       Client Profile: The Book Packager

       Assignment: The Story with Too Many Voices

       Set the Tone

       Parse the Rhetoric

       Master Abstraction

       Gauge the Ironies

       Harmonize the Voices


10   Display: Dressing Up the Text

      Author Profile: The Author-for-Hire

      Client Profile: The Trade Reference House

      Assignment: The Guidebook with Poor Signage

      Consider Subheads

      Consider Epigraphs

      Draft an Art Plan

      Illustrate Concepts

      Visualize Data

      Test-Drive Maps

      Add Lagniappe



Further Reading



Product Details

Norton, Scott
University of Chicago Press
Developmental editing
Writing Skills
Editing & Proofreading
Edition Description:
Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
4 tables
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. Stardoc #01: Stardoc Used Mass Market $2.50
  2. Angels' Blood (Berkley Sensation)
    New Mass Market $7.99
  3. The Demon's Librarian
    New Trade Paper $14.00

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
Reference » Editing
Reference » Publishing
Reference » Writing » General

Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$43.95 Backorder
Product details 256 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226595146 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at